Creepy-crawlies aren’t just for Halloween. They could be creeping around inside you! That thought of alien-like creatures inhabiting your body is enough to give anyone the shivers, but parasites are a reality, and they could be feeding off you to survive. Many people suffer unknowingly from parasitic infections and infestations, which can cause a whole slew of symptoms far beyond simple gut dysfunction problems like bloating and heartburn.
As a functional medicine practitioner, I often detect parasitic infections in my patients. Parasites can be an underlying contributing factor to many chronic health problems and a big reason why previous attempts at healing have been unsuccessful.
Do you have intestinal parasites?
The shocking reality is that most everyone has some sort of parasite. Yes, even healthy people with no symptoms. Children and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk for contracting parasites, but it can happen to anyone. The question is whether or not these parasites are fueling disease or fueling health (because weirdly, sometimes parasites are useful for health). It’s when we experience an overload or infection of parasites that these organisms cause a problem, and when parasites do cause symptoms, they can be life-disrupting. Some of the most common symptoms and signs of intestinal parasites include:
- Digestive problems, including unexplained constipation, diarrhea, or persistent gas
- Skin issues, including unexplained rashes, eczema, hives, and itching
- Muscle and joint pain
- Fatigue, even when you get enough sleep
- Never feeling full, even after eating a big meal
- Constant hunger, even when you are eating enough
- Iron deficiency anemia (lab tests show abnormally low iron level)
- Grinding your teeth during sleep
- Unexplained feelings of anxiety
- Recurrent yeast infections
- Itching of the anus or vagina